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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Saithis

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----- -=-=- ----- -=-=- -----

Chapter Index:


----- -=-=- ----- -=-=- -----

OLD AAR DETAILS:

Options & Misc Comments:

AAR Style: Alternate History, History Book with Some Narrative

Game Difficulty: Normal
AI Control: None
Cheating: Never
Save File Editing: Only for Storyline Purposes
Modding: Limited to None; see above (although may add the optimization trick to reduce trade/diplomatic consideration by the AI down to daily instead of hourly).

Goals:
This will be my first serious game of HOI3 (an in-game month or so of the demo to learn doesn't really count). I won't be playing to try and find game-breaking exploits or bugs, or even to play well - I just want to achieve some goals and create an interesting storyline. I won't be giving anything away just yet, but I should have updates coming quite soon.

This will be a Republican Spain AAR, my only gameplay goals set thus far are to win the Spanish Civil War and to build close relations to one of the major powers. If for some reason I do lose the Spanish Civil War, I'll switch over to Nationalist Spain and keep going, but I hope it won't come to that.

First update should be coming soon, tonight or tomorrow.


NEW AAR DETAILS:

Game Difficulty: Normal
AI Control: None
Cheating: Never
Save File Editing: Only for Storyline Purposes
Version: FTM Historical Plausibility Project

I'm restarting this AAR just for giggles. I've had to completely recreate the save file in FTM HPP, which has caused a lot of headache, but I got there. Should be fun. Let's see where it goes...
 
Last edited:

Myth

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Another Spanish AAR! They're always an interesting country to play, plenty of potential. I'll be watching this. :D
 

Mozla

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I really like Spanish AAR's quite happy there are two now,

Subscribed
 

Saithis

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Artell: *Coughnewcomputercough.*

Myth: Why thank you, though I was planning this since a couple days before the game was released, I was a little sad that someone came along and stole my RepSpain thunder before I got started, but hey, it happens. ;)

Mozla: Glad to hear it, I hope you enjoy.



----- -=-=- ----- -=-=- -----

Chapter 1 - Growing Dissent

Cruz de la Victoria - the cross of victory. 500 years prior to today, the Christians were preparing to march upon the last Andalusian stronghold of Islam in Granada. The reconquista was nearly complete and the Iberian peninsula which for so long had been wreathed in flame and chaos finally looked ready to calm. The Kingdoms of Castile-Leon, Portugal and Aragon held great power and it seemed none would stand in their path to victory. In 1492, Spanish power was solidified once and for all under the union of Castile-Leon and Aragon - the Kingdom of Spain was born.

Located north of Morocco and Algiers, and bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Spain was and has always been destined for greatness. The mighty nation spanned an empire unrivalled in its day. Portuguese explorations trickled through the continent and soon sparked a wildfire of ideas. Spain, looking to increase its wealth and influence, sent explorers west led by the Genoese navigator Cristóbal Colón in search of new routes to India and China, as the old Silk Road was now under the dominance of the Ottoman Turks.

Believing that the Orient was just a few thousand miles to the west (contrary to popular myth, knowledge of the spherical earth started with the ancient greeks and was widespread during this time) and funded by Queen Isabella I, he left in search of a sea lane to the wealthy East Asian territories. What he found was something very different. Within a few decades, Spain had its foothold in the Americas and had soon conquered vast swathes of native territory. The Spanish Empire would be the largest and most powerful in the world for generations.

But all great empires would come to an end. Slowly but surely, the Empire declined. At it's peak, it ruled over the Holy Roman Empire, held the massive lands of New Spain, numerous trading posts and colonies, as well as the Two Sicilies, Milan, territories in France and the Seventeen Provinces of the low countries. Spain was feared above all others, and yet slowly but surely, this faded. Austria grew dominant over the Empire, Sicily and Napoli slipped away from her fingertips.

However, the greatest and final death blow for Spain was none other than Napoleon. The Napoleonic Wars took a struggling and weakened Spain and crushed what little chance of recovery it held. With war raging across all of Europe, Iberia was hit especially hard and squeezed between the growing French and British empires. Unable to protect itself, let alone press its power elsewhere, the American Wars of Independence ripped away Spain's remaining Imperial power.

Spain struggled to try and recover, but it had been dealt more than just a bloody nose - the country was in ruins after the war and picking itself up was no easy task. Spain now sat in the shadow of France, Prussia and Austria. Before its very eyes, Italy and Germany unified into mighty nations, and the British Empire only continued to grow. Finally, the Spanish-American war broke out and Spain was simply unable to prove its might against the United States. The young upstarts gained much from the war, including control of the Spanish East Indies, and left Spain without power nor prestige.

The struggling nation, bloodied and battered, was left to its own devices. Even as the Central Powers and the Triple Entente clashed in The War To End All Wars, Spain watched and waited. As the peace was signed, Spain kept its nose clean and said nothing. As the League of Nations built its power up and stood as an avatar of justice, Spain spoke of strength but showed no commitment. As the years passed, Spain's power faded further and further.


April 14th, 1931 - King Alfonso XIII left the country and the Second Spanish Republic officially came into being. Niceto Alcalá-Zamora was elected Preisdent of the Republic and led the nation in a new era of industrial growth - he promised change, a recovery from the depression which had hit the world economy hard. The people wanted to believe him, but they had little understanding of how incompetent he could be.

Over the next 5 years, little truly changed. Though Catalonia and the Basque Country had exercised their right to autonomy, this meant little when the clouds of war showed upon the horizon of europe. The success of the fascist movement in Italy and the rise of National Socialism in Germany had stirred unrest. Niceto was viewed as weak and on January 7th, 1936, new elections were held. Despite rivalries and disagreements, various democratic, communist and socialist parties united under the 'Popular Front' to win the election against the right-wing groups, or the National Front. Moderates virtually disappeared during this period.


The economy struggled to recover and only exports of supplies to wealthy nations like the United States kept the national treasury capable of importing the coal and crude oil necessary to keep the nation breathing. People questioned where their miracle recovery had gone, why the President had failed to save them, and wondered if they would have not been better off with the King back. Ultra-nationalists and right-wing parties began to raise dissent.

Across the Mediterranean and beyond Egypt, the land of 'Abyssinia' (or Ethiopia) was the focus of the world's attentions. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, attempting to bring about a resurgence of imperialism for his nation, had invaded the african country and crushed it with relative ease.


The Nationalists saw this not as a despicable act but a strong example. They cried that the Spanish Empire should be reborn, earned with blood, sweat and tears just like the Spain of old. They rallied for a reclamation of the old American colonies in Mexico and beyond, for a resurgent Spanish Empire. The Popular Front rejected these demands outright, some out of pacifism, some out of fear for Spain's weakness showing again. Tempers clashed and flared, and more and more people questioned the Republic's decisions and inability to stop the growing dissent.


Finally, by April 1st, 1936, the pebble fell to start the avalanche. Lieutenant José Castillo, an important member of the anti-fascist military organization Unión Militar Republicana Antifascista (UMRA), was shot in cold blood by Falangists. The UMRA murdered Calvo Sotelo, an important leader in the right-wing opposition. The well-known monarchist's death sent shockwaves through the nation. The right blamed the government, the left blamed the right, and the government's cries against individual crimes went unheard.

Unity could not exist forever. Slowly, surely, the inevitable came to pass. Rising tensions led to violence. First shouting and arguments, soon violence started to break out in the street. The Nationalists accused the government's actions of being Bolshevist Anarchy. A number of Farange conspirators, along with senior army officers, conspired to launch a massive military coup d'état against the Republican government. The coup failed at first, but it sent reverberations throughout the country. First in Spanish Morocco and the Canaries, then in Andalusia, the Balaeres, Galicia, Leon, Navarra, Catalonia...nearly every region of the country was wracked by violence as soldier turned upon soldier.


The struggle for Spain's future had, at long last, begun.
 
Last edited:
Nov 16, 2008
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kingy.me
Yay! No matter which content you're writing about it always come out brilliant. :D
I don't think I'd be able to decide on which is my personal favourite from your collection. :rofl:

Good luck and I know this is is going to get really, really exciting!
 

Mozla

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And so it begins, I wonder who will come out on top.:confused:
 
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Your pictures and layout are simply stunning. I'll be following this AAR for sure!
 

stnylan

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Two Republican Spain AARs - will be very intrigued how you both manage to do.
 

unmerged(51296)

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I tried twice to win the Spanish Civil War with republicans, but I surrendered in both (nationals were controling most of the country, so the was no sense in fighting). That's why i am eager to see your win :D. Good luck.
 

Troelsdc

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Interesting indeed ! Let the commies victor!
 

TinMann

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Why thank you, though I was planning this since a couple days before the game was released, I was a little sad that someone came along and stole my RepSpain thunder before I got started, but hey, it happens. ;)
My good man! I'm the gent working on the other AAR... it's funny I chose the Republic since I figured others would prefer the Nationalists, and here we have two Nationalst AAR starting the same day. In any case your AAR is extremely well done and much more thorough than mine - excellent work.

The way things are looking on my end - yours may be the first Republic AAR to not be defeated by the AI... In hindsight perhaps I should have started after reading yours!
 

Lord Valentine

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Oh yeah a HoI III AAR about the civil war! Great! The intro has already got me all ears.:D
 

unmerged(78039)

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Jun 10, 2007
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Wow, very good AAR.


Subscribed.
 

Eams

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You have not fallen victim to Washington Irving's lies. I approve.
And you're not playing as the nazis, which is another good reason for subscribing to this here AAR.
 

Saithis

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KingAMD: Everything I do seems to be your favourite. :p

Mozla: I have to admit, at this point of the game I'm really not sure who will come out on top myself! It's kind of bleak, being the Republicans. The Nationalists just get so many advantages over you.

Tarsus540: Why thank you! They could be better but I'm happy with them for the amount of work I put in. The large images lack a better border, but I can't be bothered to make a better one.

Enewald: You have my approval. *Nods respectfully.*

stnylan: I'm intrigued as well, given I'm going into this AAR with virtually no experience...

Gregorias: Well, the SCW does require a little bit of luck - it depends a lot on WHICH armies turn nationalist and WHERE they turn nationalist - the actual provinces you lose are relatively unimportant in comparison.

Morsky: Huh, you look forward to something I do? Huh, a link to Piety in your signature? When did this happen? My head asplode!!!

Troelsdc: You won't like the starting position of the Republicans, then. :p

TinMann: Ahem, thank you for the comments, but let me start by semi-indignantly pointing out that I am a woman. Let me continue then by saying I too chose the Republicans partly out of figuring everyone else would pick the Nationalists.

Thank you for the compliments, I do put a fair bit of work into the imagery, at least, and that goes a long way towards improving the content of the AAR. Adds a bit of polish and shine and makes decent writing seem better than it is.

Lord Valentine: All ears? That'd be wild to see - better not shout while next to you, though...

Arya V. Thank you. :3

Eams: Washington Irving's lies must be struck down with the mighty vengeance of Zeus! But seriously, it is annoying how many people buy in to the flat earth thing. Nazis are also way overplayed, I'd rather do something more interesting and much more ahistorical.



----- -=-=- ----- -=-=- -----

Chapter 2 - Iberian Anarchy

The Iberian Peninsula, once more, was wreathed in the flames of war. As the Nationalist Army rose to put down the threat of the Popular Front 'rebels', the Republican government was faced with inaction. To let the Army act, to simply bow down and effectively surrender power to it? To protest the independent action of the Army? For once, it chose what many historians believe to have been the right decision for Spain: it sided with the Popular Front and called for resistance against the Nationalists.


General Francisco Franco, leader of the Nationalist Army, claimed that the government was nothing better than a puppet of the Bolshevist regime of Russia, the leading nation of the Soviet Union. He cried to the nations of the world that Spain was in anarchy and that only he and his right-wing followers could unite the country under a strong, united power. Franco called for the King to return to power and for the reformation of Spain to take place. Seeing an opportunity to gain a valuable ally on the continent and to test their own developing war machines, Hitler and Mussolini agreed to send equipment and volunteers to the aid of the Nationalists.


With the army so heavily divided, hastily rebuilt command structures were put into place - the Republicans lacked organization and was short of properly trained officers and men alike; there was hardly a single brigade that wasn't understrength and a massive recruitment program spread not just across Spain, but the entire world. International Brigades formed and within weeks of the Civil War's onset, Soviet-provisioned brigades formed from volunteers across Russia, all prepared to fight for the World Revolution.


However, more than just the communists were interested in Spain's well-being. After much deliberation, and despite the League of Nations' refusal to intervene in any particular way, the prominent nations of France and Britain were not so pleased. Even as the Nationalists swept across undefended swathes of Spanish countryside and battled for control of key cities, the Royal Navy arrived in Tarragona and Valencia, flanked by escorts that left the outdated Spanish Navy green with envy.

Britain had been split in its support of Spain, but at last, it seemed that a decision had been made. Despite the protests of many of the conservatives, Stanley Baldwin managed to earn the support of the Parliament to fund the formation of three divisions of international brigades - nearly 10,000 soldiers, mostly drawn from volunteers amongst the British socialist minority, who saw the war as a stepping stone to greater glory. Infuriated at this decision, many right-wing citizens left to Spain without the United Kingdom's blessing, determined to fight against the 'red hordes' as they had been dubbed.


The last nation to make its decision was France itself. The French economy was in a poor way and the people had been shaken; though the Great War had been a victory for the Allies, only Belgium and Luxembourg could claim to have suffered as greatly as France did - in just 4 years, nearly 1.7 million frenchmen were killed and another 4.2 million were severely wounded. The landscape of Northeast France was completely devastated and many of the French believed they would be better off keeping Spanish business in Spain.

The Third French Republic and Second Spanish Republic were, however, similar in many ways. Both had been great powers, both had suffered great declines and losses in the past century. While they had once been the greatest countries in Europe and perhaps even the world, they were now eclipsed by the two World Powers of Western Europe: Britain and Germany. In many ways, the two empathized with one another, and the French left-leaning tendency meant that sympathy for the Republicans' plight was high.

After nearly three weeks of deliberation, the French government agreed to fund the creation of a number of international brigades from volunteers, who would be given transport to the Spanish border and no further. Their supplies would be sufficient to make the march to Madrid, but not enough to sustain heavy combat - they would move quietly and stealthily until they reached the capital, when they would join in the fight to break the siege of the most important city in Spain.


Troubling news was brewing, however, and France could not offer much more than it already had. A news report was released by the Australian BBC reporter Reginald William Winchester Wilmot (or Chester Wilmot for short)...

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Trouble times have reached us, as I speak to you now from London.

I am sure all of you know of the recent events in Spain, so I shall speak frankly with the most grave concern - on April 18th an attempted coup d'état by key army officers struck the nation. Spanish President Manuel Azaña Díaz is reported to be alive and unharmed, and has been evacuated by Republican loyalist forces after two failed assassinations. He is believed to be en route to Valencia, where the loyalists are said to have a strong and uncontested base of operations.

"German Führer Adolf Hitler went on record lastnight in a speech in front of the charred ruins of the Reichstag building. He accused the Spanish Republic's government of aiding and sympathizing with communism and anarchism. The Führer pledged his full support to coup ringleader Francisco Franco, saying that the steel of his conviction and piety would overcome even the greatest obstacle in this war against the so-called 'red hordes' of the Republicans.

"The Bolshevists were quick to respond; early this morning, the highly respected Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov released a statement, stopping to repeat his key point in english: 'Today, Spain is the focus of the world. Let nothing else catch your eyes, people of the world. This is the continuation of the World Revolution and Spain now sits upon the showcase of the world; she has become the front line in the war against fascism and tyranny.'

"The Spanish conflict looks to be brewing into a full civil war with neither side prepared to back down. The BBC will be prepared to bring you more news from the front lines in the coming days. Thank you, and goodnight."



Madrid became the central battleground of the war as all eyes turned to focus upon the nation's Capital. Though the Nationalists numbered in their thousands and progress through the city was slow and bloody, the Republicans were well-armed and well-organized here in the heart of their country. As International brigades started to arrive, the Nationalists were pushed back and it seemed that victory would come in the heart of the country soon enough. The First Battle of Madrid lasted just one week before the Nationalists were broken and forced to surrender.


Elsewhere, things did not look so promising for the Spanish. The 1st Republican Mobile Division, which included Spain's last 40 tanks and cavalry brigade, was driven out of Zaragoza by Catholic insurgents under the Nationalist banner. They continued to withdraw rapidly along the Nationalist front, ceding swathes of Aragon and Catalonia in their wake.


Barcelona looked a lost cause - the city's loyalist defenders were outnumbered 3 to 1 and were undersupplied. The city of Lleida was held by Nationalists but for reasons unknown they had not made a move towards the important population center or the vital port facilities at Tarragona, where the remaining loyalist naval forces took harbour and were relatively underdefended.

Andalusia, however, was completely vulnerable. Starting in Seville and Cadiz, thousands of Nationalists overwhelmed limited Republican resistance and started to push out into the countryside. With only a few scattered Loyalist divisions against them, they had a nearly open doorway to sweep across the entirety of Southern Spain.


Meanwhile in the north, the Nationalists were fighting for control of Spain's key cities. Republicans fought hard to try and resist the Nationalists in Salamanca and the important industrial city of Valladolid - they also offered token resistance in Burgos, but there was no hope of victory in Franco's new capital. The Popular Front was outnumbered over 10 to 1 in the ancient Castilian city.


Despite widespread resistance, Salamanca was slowly crumbling and though the Battle of Valladolid went well for the Republicans at first, reinforcements from Burgos would slowly arrive and push the loyalist forces back. The Nationalists looked set to capture and execute thousands of loyalists and the Republicans were desperate to do something.

From the Republican enclaves in La Coruña, Oviedo and Bilbao, the undersupplied Republican divisions considered their options. After great hesitation, Republican general Serrador Santés led a daring push south from Oviedo in Asturias. Despite being heavily outnumbered by the Nationalists, his unit broke through the line and opened up a corridor to Valladolid relatively unharmed. There was talk of trying to push through to Salamanca, but doing so would sacrifice Salamanca and would risk complete encirclement of the forces. It was decided that it was not worth the risk, and the Valladolid resistance abandoned the city to join up with the forces of Santés.


The forces began to pull back towards Oviedo slowly but surely, battling off dozens of Nationalist regiments and moving with purpose despite no proper supplies. They lived off the land and took whatever donations the local people could and would give. The heroic efforts of the Asturias Freedom Corps ranked amongst the greatest in the war and the courage and resilience of these men became a beacon of hope for the Popular Front across all of Spain. The President himself stated that, 'There is no greater honour or sacrifice than those of Asturias have made to beat the odds and save thousands of lives. Truly, they are heroes.'
 
Last edited:

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
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Can you order HQ's to march into enemy territory?
When there are no enemy troops on the way, ofc.
100 HQ can conquer easily if there is no opposition. :D
 

Lord Valentine

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Oh things are looking quite desperate!
My own first HoI 3 game was a try at the Spanish Civil war. Mind you I played the nationalists which was pretty easy. No resistance in the south and once I had crushed republican pockets of resistance in my rear and in Bask-country I could easily encircle and annihilate a great part of their forces in the center.
I hope you fare better than the AI did against me.:)

~Lord Valentine~